When it comes to being conservative, black people have been mislabeled, according to a new book by aUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) professor.
There is this overarching belief that African Americans are extremely liberal and support liberal ideas like unlimited welfare assistance and an open lifestyle,” said Angela Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor ofgovernment. “This characterization of black people is incorrect.”
Lewis recently penned “Conservatism in the Black Community” as part of the Routledge Series on Identity Politics. The book looks at how conservatism among black people — from slavery up to today — is different from that of whites. In the book, Lewis categorizes conservatism in the black community into four groups, and supports each with longitudinal data.
“When you think of black conservative pundits who are always on TV and conservative everyday black people, they are not the same,” Lewis said.
More than one-third of the black population identifies themselves as conservative, she said. Of that group, however, more than 90 percent support the Democratic Party, considered a more liberal political group.
Lewis found this interesting and set out to find out why. She conducted focus groups in Birmingham, Chicago and Atlanta. She found that when African Americans talked about conservatism, they rarely mentioned politics. Instead, they talked about their lifestyle, morals and values. And, they were able to compartmentalize their views on lifestyle in order to support a political party they feel is more compassionate toward marginalized groups and the poor.
Often, the pundits speaking for black conservatism are aligned with the Republican Party and do not support issues like affirmative action, a policy that the typical black conservative does, according to Lewis.
“The media needs to have more than these pundits representing conservatism because they are not representative of black conservative thought,” she said.
The search committee for dean of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences has selected four candidates to advance to round two interviews. In the next two weeks, each candidate will give a formal presentation and meet with CAS faculty and others across the UAB campus.
The candidates are listed below with access to each candidate's biographical sketch and CV.
|Kimberly Espy, Ph.D.
|Brian Kay, Ph.D.
|Robert E. Palazzo, Ph.D.
|Alan R. White, Ph.D.
We hope you will make every effort to attend the formal presentations as listed below.
Dr. Brian Kay – Monday, April 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Location: Heritage Hall Building, Room 102
Dr. Kimberly Espy – Thursday, April 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Location: Alumni House
Dr. Bob Palazzo – Monday, April 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Location: Heritage Hall Building, Room 102
Dr. Alan White – Thursday, April 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Location: Hill University Center, Alumni Auditorium
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) found that only 1 in 5 veterans reported receiving brain injury education while serving in the military. The rese
archers, whose findings were published this week in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, believe a lack of accurate knowledge could lead to misdiagnosis or misinterpretation due to the many symptoms that can overlap among brain injury and other conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and chronic pain.
student with the UAB Department of Psychology. “In the case of a veteran who sustains a brain injury, for example, they may be deemed to be disabled instead of integrating back into their community and their job. That direction of treatment may not look at encouraging ways to give them their life back.”
The study looked at 100 veterans and 50 of their friends or family. It found that both groups were able to correctly identify symptoms associated with mild brain injury. However, both groups endorsed numerous symptoms that are not typical of such injuries.
“It is just as important that patients and their support system are able to recognize not only what a brain injury is, but also what it is not,” Block said. “Improved knowledge
will mean fewer frustrations for both groups, better care overall and a brighter outlook for veterans.”
The first known study of brain injury knowledge, published in 1988, revealed that 42 percent of people believed a second blow to one’s head could actually help restore memory. Block says her team’s work in 2012 reveals misinformation about brain injuries has not decreased during the past 24 years despite increased education initiatives.
There are websites with a wealth of information, like the Defense Centers of Excellence, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Yet the UAB study shows 80 percent of the veterans with whom they worked, and 79 percent of a group of family or friends, said they did not go to the Internet for more information.
In fact, the study revealed that both groups turned to a different channel for knowledge.
Inaccurate portrayals of brain injury in the popular media could potentially contribute to distorted beliefs about brain injury symptoms and recovery, as well as about survivors of brain injury themselves, if they are not countered by accurate information.“Unfortunately, much of what they knew was based on what they witnessed on shows like Dr. Oz, Grey’s Anatomy and House,” said Block. “They have access to the VA and healthcare providers, yet the majority gets information from movies and TV dramas.”
These findings come in the wake of a recent push by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to increase traumatic brain injury (TBI) knowledge and awareness.
“A mild brain injury is significant, but when armed with the proper information, diagnosis and treatment, these individuals should expect to get back to work, back to school and back to a good quality of life,” Block said.
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